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Should I sign for a neighbours parcels?

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We have a neighbour who often orders things online, they are then delivered when they are out at work and usually the delivery drivers knock on my door. I feel sorry for the delivery drivers because I know they have a tough job so usually take the parcels in. They then have me sign little computer screen and leave a card for my neighbour and either they come to collect it or I will drop it round to them. However I have just been told that by signing for the delivery I could be leaving myself open to legal action if the item in the parcel turns out to be damaged or defective as when I sign I am effectively accepting the goods as they are and signing away my neighbours rights. If they are not happy they could potentially then take me to court. Unlikely I know but still a possibility.


Should I be signing for my neighbours parcels? It seems to me a helpful thing to do but I could see that a neighbour might be annoyed if I did sign for a defective item? Could I still take an item in with out signing for it and just giving my name and address? Or is it unlikely that the mail order shop would ever say well its been signed for so no refund even if it is damaged?

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I've never seen any legal cases or professioanl legal opinions about this so my guess is no-one really knows what the law is and won't unless and until a case makes its way to the courts. The law hasn't really caught up with the massive growth in internet shopping and home deliveries.


That said I also regularly take in parcels for neighbours and because I have a legal background (but I'm not a qualified lawyer) I too have wondered about this.


When I sign the little screen there's nothing on it that says I am confirming anything other than that I have received it. So I don't consider that I have stated the parcel I have taken in isn't damaged or defective. I think a seller/delivery company would struggle to argue in court that my signature meant anything other than I've received it as delivered. Not unless I signed something that specifically confirmed it's condition, which I've never been asked to do and wouldn't sign. Personally I doubt your signature can be imputed to mean what you have been told, but as I say I am not a qualified solicitor.


If the neighbour had been in and signed for the parcel themself would signing for receipt have signed away their rights if the goods were damaged or defective? Surely not. Under the distance selling regulations you have the right to examine the goods properly after receipt to see if they are damaged etc. So I can't see how signing for your neighbours' parcel - as their agent - could put your neighbour in a worse position than if they had signed for the parcel themself.


I will go on signing for neighbours' parcels, I'm not concerned about it. And it works both ways, if I'm out they sign for mine.


I hadn't thought about it before, but what would I do if asked to sign for a parcel that was obviously damaged and the contents were broken, leaking, it had been opened and things were missing? In the days when you signed bits of paper I could have written on the receipt that the package was damaged, but there's no way you can do that on these handheld devices you sign with your finger!

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I think that's about right. If you sign for a parcel then you simply agreeing that it has been received. I don't think that you give any assurance as to the condition of its contents. The parcel was obsolete damaged in some way then the best thing to do is simply refuse to sign for it and then explain the matter to your neighbour. You could even take a photograph of it

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I think that's about right. If you sign for a parcel then you simply agreeing that it has been received. I don't think that you give any assurance as to the condition of its contents. The parcel was obsolete damaged in some way then the best thing to do is simply refuse to sign for it and then explain the matter to your neighbour. You could even take a photograph of it


Not to mention most of the time the machine only recognises a few bits of any signature, so becomes unreadable and unlike any signature i've ever produced before...

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